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West Valley City Journal

Ski & Snowboard News / George turns 100 today and skis on his birthday

Jul 05, 2017 05:24PM ● By Harriet Wallis

Birthday boy George Jedenoff flanked by Junior and Maxine Bounous / photo credit: Harriet Wallis

Watch George ski today at Snowbird.    Video: 

George Jedenoff became an avid skier 51 years ago when he moved to Salt Lake City to oversee the Geneva Steel Plant. He learned from the best: iconic Junior Bounous, legendary Alf Engen, and release binding inventor Earl Miller.

At that time, Miller performed stunt falls to show how well his bindings released. But he credited George with doing whacky falls that he’d never seen. In spite of the falls, George learned to ski and to love the sport.

Junior Bounous, director of skiing at Sundance and then Snowbird, mentored George and they became fast friends. They’ve skied together for 51 years. Even now, I continue to learn new things from Junior, said George.

Today, July 5, the two friends skied on George’s 100th birthday

George lives in California but he returns to Utah every winter to ski at Alta and Snowbird. He skis with the vigor of a teenager and charges through powder with ease. He loves powder.

He also has a philosophy that guides his life and inspires others. “Be kind. Do your best. Don’t be discouraged by bad things that might happen to you. Always be positive,” he says.

When George was 95, Ski Utah, the umbrella organization over all Utah ski resorts, produced a video of him skiing. It was an immediate hit and each winter Ski Utah produces a new and inspiring video of him.

Thanks to Snowbird, George celebrated his 100th birthday by skiing a large field of snow near the top of the mountain with his friend Junior Bounous. He was also awarded a plaque, shared a cake with everyone who attended, and enjoyed a birthday lunch at Snowbird’s Forklift Restaurant. He also received a letter of congratulations from the nationally known 70+ Ski Club. Only 3 of its 3,000 members have been over 100 years old.

But there’s a back story too. Yesterday, George and Junior drove up the gravel summer road at Alta to search for a patch of snow on which to practice before today’s big event. They found a suitable patch and made turns. “It was about as big as a room and about as wide,” said Junior. “But we skied it.”

The day’s festivities wrapped up with George’s typical, positive outlook. His skis were leaning against a wall, and he spoke to a family member saying: “Let’s remember to pick up my skis, I’ll need them this winter.”

Ski Utah’s videos of George from age 95-99: